Confirmation & Baptism
Next Baptism Date: TBC
Next Confirmation Date: TBC
Baptism in the Methodist Church
The Sacrament of Baptism was given to the Church by Jesus Christ. It is an outward sign of the new life which God offers to all people through the work of Christ and marks the entry of the person baptised into God’s family, the Church. Baptism therefore proclaims God’s grace and looks forward to life-long growth into Christ in the fellowship of the Church. It calls for the response of faith that is also a life-long process. In the case of believers the initial profession of faith precedes the baptism. In the case of infants, parents and sponsors who are believers promise to provide Christian nurture and to prepare the child for personal profession of faith. In both cases the person baptised will be supported by the faith of the Church. The baptism of a believer may be accompanied by the laying on of hands with prayer. In the case of persons baptised in infancy laying on of hands may accompany their personal profession of faith. Methodism agrees with most major denominations that so-called rebaptism is inappropriate and may not be practised for the following reasons:
- Baptism is unrepeatable because it signifies the once-for-all act of Christ and makes the baptised a member of the covenant community.
- ‘Rebaptism’ implies that the original baptism was invalid and thus calls into question the practice of infant baptism.
- It implies that the prevenient grace of God was not active in the original baptism.
- It makes the response of faith and obedience the most important feature of baptism and obscures its significance as a sign of God’s grace.
Confirmation in the Methodist Church
The conditions, privileges and duties of membership in the Methodist Church follow the tradition common to the Methodist People from the beginning. Membership is not conditional upon the profession of theological tenets, or dependent upon traditional authority or ecclesiastical ritual. It is based upon a personal experience of the Lord Jesus Christ, brought about by the Spirit, ranging from the earliest signs of Divine Grace in the soul to its crowning blessedness in the joy of ‘perfect love’, and upon a sharing of such gifts of grace with others seeking or enjoying a similar experience. All persons are welcomed into membership who sincerely desire to be saved from their sins through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and show the same in life and conduct, and who seek to have communion with Christ Himself and His people by taking up the duties and privileges of the Methodist Church.
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